Fresh off of his visit to Saudi Arabia, President Obama has now arrived in London, shifting his focus to demanding that British voters agree to remain part of the European Union in a vote scheduled for June 23. Polls have shown British voters split roughly down the middle on the matter.
Obama cited the number of American soldiers who died in Europe during World War 2 as proof America has an interest in how the vote goes, warning that Britain’s global influence would be weakened by exiting the EU. Several Euroskeptics in the British cabinet have said it is inappropriate for the US president to make demands in a British referendum.
But hiss involvement is likely not unilateral, with former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith reporting earlier this week that Prime Minister David Cameron was “begging” Obama to use his planned visit to “bully the British people” on the vote.
Cameron initially was using the threat to leave the European Union as a way to negotiate better terms with EU officials, but the effort spiraled into an outright referendum, with Cameron now scrambling to try to prevent the country from agreeing to leave the union.